William Watterson and Richard Taylor an the University of Oregon are in the early stages of developing fractal-shaped electrodes for use as retinal implants to restore sight. They believe that the square shape of previous generations of electrodes prevented their success. (86 per cent fail.) The fractal shape mimics the design of the neurons they interact with.
In simulations, the fractal design stimulated 90 per cent more neurons in the retina, while using less voltage than a traditional implant.
The team is working on shrinking the implants before they are tested on mice — therefore the possibility of human use is far off and not guaranteed — but the concept is promising.
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